Monsters and Critics columnist Liz Long recaps Married at First Sight, Season 12, Episode 15, Retreat Ready, with a little help from a glass of pinot (or two) …
Well my MAFS-Lovers, the latest episode was the Couple’s Retreat, and usually this episode brings me great joy. However, the only joy I really found tonight was through Mr. Unbothered himself … Jake! I do believe he is the coolest guy in the room … yet no one really seems to notice this. They’re all too busy bickering.
We had Erik with a “K” arguing with Virginia over anything and everything … tender Vinny afraid to mount his horsie Gator, and Clara drinking the Ryan kool-aid. And let us not forget Haley–who showed the most enthusiasm she has ever displayed the entire season when she got to play a competitive (albeit fun) game of MAFS-Ology.
Meanwhile, my man Jake is just chillin – eating his eight eggs.
Jake and Haley – Driving to the couple’s retreat solo is never a good thing
So Jake and Haley drove to the “couple’s retreat” separately … it was a 5-hour drive to Hilton Head, so this was probably a good thing for the couple who takes two steps forward and 12 steps back.
Though arriving alone, you better believe Jake came with all of his new blue dress shirts and was ready to eat his eight eggs in peace! This, of course, bothered Haley, whose face is growing more and more tense with each passing episode.
They go tit for tat with Haley, explaining to the group she has learned so much about herself but 95 percent of her marriage has been challenging. Jake–sporting an Area Man t-shirt and look of pure amusement–is in the background, ready to pull a low-key one-upper. He says, it’s been 98 percent challenging for him.
Now normally I would not encourage such pettiness. But, on Jake – this works. He is the only one bringing the subtle jokes that are extremely on-point AND, he is ready to receive Haley the moment she lightens up and relaxes a bit.
We need Jake’s level of unbothered because Lord knows everyone else is bothered in this gorgeous beach house that is not getting near the level of appreciation it deserves. Did they even use the swimming pool?! I just kept thinking – if Woody were there, he’d be doing flips.
Oh, where’s a good game of MAFS-Ology (or even Stranger Spouse for my Season 11 die-hards) when you need it?
Though Haley and Jake are the only ones coming separately to this retreat, they do manage to pull out a win in a good ol’ game of MAFS-Ology, where they had to prove how much they know about each other.
Then, they wrote letters to each other where they both had to write what they liked about the other person, and their mutual love for family brought them closer together (which, in Jake and Haley land, means a subtle smile across the room).
But it’s not Jake and Haley if it doesn’t end bad, and by episode’s end, Jake was the one who peaced out early morning without a goodbye to Haley.
Erik & Virginia – My cats trump your allergies!
Erik and Virginia rivaled Jake and Haley as they bickered about pets and Virginia’s constant desire to crash on dudes’ couches. Erik says he doesn’t do ultimatums, which is odd considering that’s all he’s been doing all season (“if this … I’m done!”).
And then we have Virginia who’d rather have Erik suffer death by allergic reaction than go without her cat sleeping on top of her. They both have their flaws in this marriage, no doubt … but I’m looking for the good in this episode, so let’s see … let’s see here …
Now I know there was something here somewhere … Oh yes, on the first dinner night, Virginia shared how she realizes that marriage is an active choice every morning to choose her partner. Now, if we could just make that choice actually waking up to him rather than some rando, we’ll be golden.
Clara & Ryan – Is Clara losing herself?
Clara and Ryan join the group late, and Clara dishes on her marriage to the ladies as if Ryan isn’t sitting two feet from them. In fact, all the women join in on the conversation and talk about their hubbies, who are seriously sitting right there.
Either the men can’t hear them because Ryan is too busy laughing at Jake’s jokes, or they don’t care. It really could go either way.
In a change of pace, Clara reveals to the ladies that she is sorta cool with moving at Ryan’s snail sex pace. It’s their marriage and their whole thing, after all, .. and I’m just like, where did my spunky sexually frustrated Clara go?!
In fact, she asked the ladies if a lot of people were asking them if they “lost themselves” in the marriage because Clara apparently gets this question 20 times a day. Bri is all like, uh, maybe one person has asked that.
Clara, I’m thinking the fact 20 people are asking you this daily might mean something. it would appear you are drinking the Ryan kool-aid, and I’m not so sure if this is a good thing for you.
I know I know … who am I to judge, and I clearly am not … it’s just that … well, Clara is obviously someone who wears her heart on her sleeve. Affection and words of affirmation are clearly her love languages!
Craving just an ounce of affection from her spouse, when Ryan shares his “love letter,” she seems content with getting any words out of him (and those words did not include the three magic words she is so longing to hear). To boot, he gives her only a tight-lipped peck and a “that’s sweet” after she pours her heart out.
They confirm to each other they will say yes on Decision Day, which is great and all I suppose – but is Clara just convincing herself that Ryan is good for her simply because he doesn’t fall into the category of a**hole that she is so accustomed to?
Bri & Vince – Smooth Operator don’t wanna ride the horsie
Bri and Vince are still floating along on the SURFACE. I stress surface because my man Vinny (I don’t know why I’m calling everyone ‘my man’ tonight by the way), but Vinny has something boiling beneath that surface that I’m just waiting to explode. I think Bri knows it too. She seems. to kind of be handling him with kid gloves.
And these seem to be what he needs because the moment he’s faced with a slightly uncomfortable situation, he’s all up in his feelings.
Tonight’s exercise was horseback riding on the beach. You would have thought Bri asked him to swim with sharks after jumping out of a plane into the ocean with the way Vinny reacted to this “surprise” from Bri.
He finally got up on his horsie (after the instructor mentioned the horses are even good with 10-year-olds!), but afterward, he made sure to tell Bri he was NOT happy with it. In fact, if she ever pulls such a dangerous stunt like that again, he will NOT do it.
Bri–the only bride who seems to be nailing this whole MAFS assignment–hears him out and asks him the right questions. But off-camera, she reveals, I’m not going to be able to take that my whole life. (Bonus points to Bri when she told the ladies, I’m learning to be “less Brianna” … and for her voluminous new hairstyle.)
So that about does it, folks. We are only a week away from Decision Day! Can you believe that? This season felt like it never really got off the ground. At least I am finding new appreciation in Jake. I just wish the rest of the cast would. Sigh. At least he got his bracelet back.
Married at First Sight airs on Wednesdays at 8/7c on Lifetime.